Photo Exhibit Showcases Creativity of Children with Disabilities

ASTANA – On May 22, the photo exhibition Moment of Happiness opened at the Khan Shatyr mall as part of the Zhuldyzay (“star” in Kazakh) Festival for Children with Disabilities.


A girl performs as part of the selection competition for the national Zhuldyzai festival.

“Each of us has a place in our heart for children who need our attention and support. Their happy faces, emotions and feelings are in truth priceless. Moments of real happiness in the photos were available to all residents and guests of Astana. All had a unique opportunity to see the young talent from all over the country in this exhibition. Talented children sing, dance, play musical instruments… they are talented flowers of life,” said the organisers of the festival.

The annual Zhuldyzay festival is held under the patronage of a corporate charity fund the main purpose of which is to provide financial assistance to children with disabilities as well as promote their social adaptation. Established in 2005, the festival aims to alert the public to the problems with the social, professional and vocational rehabilitation of children with disabilities. The festival also provides participants with an opportunity to express themselves creatively and demonstrate their talents to an audience as well as a chance at companionship with their contemporaries.

Prior to the event in Astana, elimination rounds were held in 16 cities across Kazakhstan. Individuals and creative teams from boarding schools competed in choreography, instrumental performances, singing, painting and chess.

Drawings, stuffed toys and stained-glass artwork were exhibited in applications. Of the 4,558 children who took part in the first round, the works of 300 reached the final festival. The performances of children from all rounds of the competition were captured by photographers.

“The event we organised on May 22 was dedicated to the opening of the eighth national Zhuldyzay festival. In the exhibit, we tried to introduce photos of participants from all over the country. A major concert will draw a line under this year’s festival on June 1 at the Palace of Peace and Accord, and will be held with the support of Kazakhstan’s biggest celebrities,” Senior Specialist at the Zhuldyzay Corporate Fund Saule Syzdykova said.

“I have been working with the Zhuldyzay fund for many years. Together we organised this exhibition and carried out master classes with children in Astana and elsewhere. I am very glad that this initiative found support and developed into such a beautiful project. And if I personally can help, I just do it. As for the competition – to be honest, I prefer to work with children instead of judging, because I want to award all of them for their desire to create, for their will to live, for the tears of happiness they give us. These children are much stronger than we healthy adults are. I want them to be happy,” said Kazakh artist, honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts of Prague and Laureate of the European Art Union Leyla Makhat.

The purpose of the Zhuldyzay festival is to change attitudes toward people with limited opportunities and to show how creativity can help them rise above their physical problems.

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